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Manchester bombing ‘hero’ denies stealing from victims

Chris Parker, 33, pictured, was hailed as a hero for helping victims of the Manchester bombing but is accused of stealing a purse and mobile phone from those caught up in the attack 

A man hailed a ‘homeless hero’ at the scene of the Manchester Arena bombing has denied stealing a purse and mobile phone from victims of the attack.

Chris Parker, 33, allegedly swiped the purse of Pauline Healey, as her granddaughter Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, lay dying yards away.

A court heard he is accused of taking a mobile phone belonging to a teenage girl who cannot be named because of her age.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi, 22, detonated his device in the foyer of the arena on May 22, killing 22 and injuring scores of others.

Rough sleeper Parker received global acclaim afterwards as he described witnessing the effects of the blast and tending to the injured.

He told how he had wrapped an injured girl in a T-shirt and cradled a dying woman in his arms.

On Tuesday he appeared in court for a plea and case management hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Parker, now living in Halifax, entered not guilty pleas to two counts of theft and two counts of attempted theft.

It is alleged that Parker took Mrs Healey’s purse, containing bank cards, from a handbag as she lay stricken on the ground and also stole the other victim’s phone.

Mrs Healey attended the Ariana Grande concert with Sorrell and Sorrell’s mother, Samantha.

Pauline Healey

Sorrell Leczkowski died in the attack

Victims: Pauline Healey (left) was injured while her grandaughter Sorrell Leczkowski (right) died in the attack

Parker was praised after helping tend to those injured in the bomb blast. Pictured are concert goers in the aftermath of the attack

Parker was praised after helping tend to those injured in the bomb blast. Pictured are concert goers in the aftermath of the attack

She later underwent 15 hours of surgery to remove shrapnel from her body and also suffered multiple compound fractures to her arms and legs, while Sorrell’s mother was also seriously injured.

Sorrell, who was a pupil at Allerton High School in Leeds, was hoping to be an architect and wanted to study at Columbia University in New York.

It is also alleged he tried to steal a bag and a coat belonging to persons unknown.

Judge Hilary Manley bailed Parker until October 16 for a pre-trial hearing ahead of a three-day trial scheduled to begin on January 2. 

Parker denies the charges and has been released on bail and faces trial next January

Parker denies the charges and has been released on bail and faces trial next January

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